Dr Megan Murgatroyd
John Day Building: 1.02
Megan completed her undergraduate degree in Conservation Biology in Bristol at the University of the West of England, with her dissertation assessing heavy metal contamination of raptor feathers. With a keen taste for travel she also spent time in Namibia assisting on research into the effects of diamond mining on the Damara tern.
After completion of her BSc Honours, Megan flew south again and this time landed on her feet in the Cederberg Mountains. This was the beginning of her doctoral journey with the FitzPatrick Institute and the Animal Demography Unit and also the development of a passion for large raptors. Megan has recently submitted her thesis entitled “Ecology of the Verreaux’s eagle Aquila verreauxii in natural and agriculturally transformed habitats in South Africa”. Her study investigated the differences in breeding productivity, diet and movement ecology of two contrasting populations. Broadly speaking, she found that eagles in the agriculturally transformed study area breed more successfully, have more diverse diets and do not appear to be under higher energetic demand than those in a natural environment.
Megan is now based in the Fitz as a Post-doctoral fellow where she is part of the Raptor Research Programme. Building on fine-scale GPS tracking work she started during her PhD, Megan will now be focusing on turbine placement and collision mitigation for Verreaux’s eagles and well as looking after the already established martial eagle project in the Kruger National Park.
Murgatroyd, M., Avery, G., Underhill, G. and Amar, A. 2016. Adaptability of a specialist predator: The effects of land use on diet diversification and breeding performance of Verreaux's eagles. Journal of Avian Biology. doi: 10.1111/jav.00944
Murgatroyd, M., Underhill, L., Rodrigues, L. and Amar, A. 2016. The influence of agricultural transformation on the breeding performance of a top predator: Verreaux’s eagles in contrasting land use areas. The Condor. 118:238-252. http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1650/CONDOR-15-142.1